What We Don’t Say

Posted On: 11.02.15



Both big girls had soccer games this weekend. But there was one change. It was silent soccer. Meaning we parents weren’t supposed to cheer. At all. Let me just say that this was very hard for me. I’m an enthusiastic (okay, borderline rabid) soccer mom. But I did it. I stood on the sidelines and I simply watched. Slipped up here and there and shouted out, but alas. I was for the most part silent. 

The amazing thing, the interesting thing? Both of my girls had particularly good games. They knew I was there, looked over and caught my eye, but I only smiled, and threw up my arms in a little quiet rah-rah.

Now, here I am, thinking about this, about the power of silence, of silent support. Maybe what we don’t say sometimes matters almost as much as what we do say? Maybe holding back can be as effective as piping up. Maybe restraint is golden in certain circumstances.

I woke up early to write this morning. 4:30am. Spent much of the time cutting, pruning, simplifying. When I was done slicing and dicing, fiddling with the opening scene of my next novel, it was simple and sang, was that much more powerful.

Silent soccer. Simple writing. Food for thought on this good Monday morning.

Is less in fact more? When?

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3 Comments for: "What We Don’t Say"
  1. I do think that less is more at times. Sometimes, when I am done and out about things, I not only don’t want to talk about it – but I don’t want someone else to make me feel better. I just want to be with them. And sometimes that’s hard to make happen – especially if the other person wants to make me feel better by cheering me up in vocal ways.

    So, yes, I agree.

    And I understand not being able to cheer and how hard that must have been. So, congrats!

  2. Mmm, good one to ponder. I think, like so many things, it changes. I was struck a few weeks ago as I listen to Jessica Lahey in Manchester. She spoke about a study about college students and their recollections of pre-college sports. Nearly to a fault, they al responded that their favorite games were the ones attended by grandparents—not because they didn’t love their parents, but because grandparents seemed to attend to watch the kids not to cheer on a win or up anyone’s performance one way or the other.

    Sometimes I realize that the way I measure my involvement or the benefit that I bring in a very different way from how my girls perceive it and me.

    Love this peek.

  3. Mike

    My 2 boys (14 and 12) have been playing soccer since they both were 5. I started out as an idiot, telling them what they did wrong after each game, etc. I found I was doing this because of the other teams’ parents and I wanted to beat them, realized I was being childish. However I matured and over the past 4 years or so I simply say good game and ask if they had fun. Also I have never been one to say much on the sidelines, but wow, some of the things I have heard other parents’ say over the years……

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